SISD prepares for back to school

Ashley Inge
SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood tells the board about advice he received from Godley ISD on how to open schools.

The Stephenville ISD Board of Trustees met on Monday evening and discussed plans and updates regarding back to school.

SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood said he had received advice from administration at Godley ISD on how to open schools.

“We really gotta take care of our staff,” Underwood told the board. “They are more likely to get the virus from each other than they are from kids. We feel like we got enough feedback early on that we can at least start. Another point was made that as we go through, we’re gonna have cases, but if you can put information out early that there has been a case, then you may make some different decisions about what you do on the weekend. Our staff is what I’m most concerned about. We’ve got to be more diligent wearing masks. We made some changes to our lunch protocols today. We’re going to do a little better job of spacing out. I visited Gilbert and Henderson Junior High and we had about 95 percent of our staff wearing masks consistently, and hopefully, we’ll do a better job moving forward.”

Another issue that Underwood brought up is test proctoring. The board had discussed at one point using the Bond Auditorium as a testing center and having a staff member proctor tests, but Underwood said that an online virtual option would be the best.

“One of the difficulties that we’ve run into is a lot of the proctoring services that we looked at – they don’t work well with the iPad. We’re having to look at some different options,” he said. “We’ve also scaled back on what we think should be proctored. The high school needs to be proctored, especially when it comes to GPA. Maybe we can focus on a cheaper proctor system grades three through eight and a more expensive option grades nine through 12 – I think we’ll get a better idea of who’s mastering the curriculum and who’s mastering the test. I think it’ll lead into a more robust GPA system.”

Underwood said Stephenville High School has almost 200 virtual learners and about 100 Chromebooks.

“One of our biggest challenges last spring was trying to keep kids engaged and then when we got them engaged, making sure it was their work that we were looking at, but I think there’s some movement to make that a little bit better this fall,” he added.